Ta-Nehisi Coates and Poetic Language

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"Within that economy of words, you choose words that have certain angles, that have certain edges, that effect people in a certain way." Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose memoir Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2015) is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, speaks with Khalil Gibran Muhammad about what he learned as a poet and how those skills continue to influence his writing.

Sy Montgomery

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"She could taste with all of her skin, including her eyelids." Author and naturalist Sy Montgomery describes her first meeting with Athena, a giant Pacific octopus, at the New England Aquarium in Boston. This encounter spurred her to write The Soul of an Octopus (Atria Books, 2015), a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Sally Mann

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"Whether I was born this way or my personality was formed by circumstance, I don't think anyone would call me an easy person to deal with..." Photographer Sally Mann reads from her memoir, Hold Still (Little, Brown, 2015), a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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